3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful addition to the Maus lexicon,
This review is from: MetaMAUS (Hardcover)
I read the Maus in 1989 as a callow and cynical teenager. it changed my concept, understanding and appreciation of history and the graphic novel. I have given it as gift too often to remember and have encouraged everyone to read it. Meta Maus is the life encylopeadia to accompany the books. The creation and aftermath of Maus is a 40 year journey for Spiegelman and this work is a comprehensive and visually arresting collection of early drafts, ideas, interviews, artwork and the impact the book had on the authors life and soul. It is the biography of the creation of a work of great repute and cultural value.
It is an extraordinary journey through the creative mind and the creation of what has become an iconic and legendary piece of Art. F.Henwood's review of this book (3star) is one of the finest and most detailed I have read and I urge all to read it. He makes the very valid point that the book is disjointed and the narrative structure is a bit 'all over the place'. It can irk - but, to some degree that is the books charm. I didn't read it in a single sitting, it is something I have come back to over time and discovered new elements, hidden parts, i may have missed first time around.
You have to have read and enjoyed Maus I and II to full appreciate the depth and scale of this work, which can be repetative in places, but it has merits for the casual reader as well. The artwork developmentr alone is fascinating. I found elements emotionally upsetting and the deeply personal nature of the conversations pull no punches. The DVD accompanyment is more than a haphazard bonus and is a very welcome addition to the book.
So why not 5* - simple. This is a book that isn't a biography of Speigleman and nor does it stop at being the biography of the creation of the books. It seems that they took all they had and threw it at the publication, some more dudicious editing would improve the reading experience and make it more accessible for the non Maus devotee!
While it may seem a shallow point this book is wonderfully and beautifully designed - it is a stunning example of the book binders art and the book sits prouldy on my shelf as a work of art in it's own right.